Saturday, September 29, 2007

USC 27 Washington 24

It's Saturday morning, and we have a great slate of Pac Ten games going on this weekend. The marquee game is California at Oregon followed by USC at Washington. UCLA takes on Oregon State also and that should be a good game if the Beavers can stop turning the ball over.

The PI's take on Husky Stadium

It has been an interesting week concerning the football program in the media. The PI sports staff all expressed their opinions concerning Husky Stadium. Art Thiel wants it moved down the street toward University Village. The PI Editorial Staff wants it torn down with future games played at QWest. Dan Raley gives us the history of the stadium, a tour of current conditions inside, and a good look at the makeup of the stadium committee. Ted Miller talks about the need of a Sugar Daddy, and good old Jim Moore takes a swipe at the 1961 Rose Bowl team.

The PI really isn't anti Husky even though you have too many Cougars on the staff, they are however like any other branch of the media tired of the cold shoulder they get when trying to cover the team. UW needs friends right now if they are going to get this done.

I think the UW would just kill the program if they moved the games downtown, and the UW knows that. The current Turner led plan is an excellent idea, and deserves the full support of the community. Husky games on the shores of Montlake is a tradition that needs to be preserved for the next 100 years, and this is the best way to accomplish that. Stay tuned as they start a program to raise money for the initial stages.


Art then caps it all off with a very long story on the life of Tim Meamber. Tim of course became prominent again when he was interviewed by Dawgman's Derek Johnson after the Ohio State game. That interview set off a bit of a controversy in the Husky community because it attacked the current Husky defensive staff's coaching credibility. Art responds with an article which explains why I was hesitant to jump on the Meamber bandwagon with both feet firmly planted. I will leave it at that.

Husky Weather

As for today's game the Trojans are overwhelming favorites, and the Huskies best chance to win this game is with turnovers. Temperatures at gametime are going to be in the low 50's/high 40's, and it most likely will be raining. Wind will also be a factor as they expect gusts coming from the Southwest at 10-20 mph which can create a swirling effect in the stadium.

This is Husky Weather, and if there is one thing the Trojans hate to play in it is cold, rain, mixed with swirling winds. Historically teams have come up from LA, and have been derailed on days like this. USC has one flaw, and that is turnovers, weather like this promotes turnovers. Weather like this also can play havoc with a guy by the name of John David Booty.

I think the crowd will really be into this game. The late start means 4 1/2 hours more of tailgating. The throwback jersey's, Jim Owens, and the ceremonies honoring the 1960 Husky football team is going to stir up some emotions. I am not coming out saying that there is going to be an upset today, but the weather is cooperating, and the crowd should be extra loud, and emotional for this one.

USC LB Keith Rivers may be out of this one after suffering an injury in practice this week. that would mean that all three starting USC LB's may miss this game. No determination on Rivers official status till kickoff. Three LB's and two CB's out? I like that when that happens.

California 31 Oregon 24

The Ducks came out to start the game on defense, and just shut the Bears down. It's still early, but I think Oregon is going to kill these guys. Scoreless midway through the first quarter, but it will heat up. First quarter ends with Oregon leading 3-0. 10- 3 at the half in a surprising defensive struggle so far. Both teams are moving the ball, but neither are putting it in the endzone much. Expect that to change in the third quarter. Oregon has held Cal to 23 yards rushing.

Bears draw first blood in the second half and seem to have it going. 10-10 midway through the third quarter. Ducks answer on the next possession with a 42 yard Dixon to Colvin strike. 17-10 Ducks.

Cal answers quickly on the next drive, and the track meet is on....17-17 as the 4th quarter starts. Cal gets the ball back in good field position and drives again goes up 24-17 after a fantastic DeSean Jackson recepetion, and run with the ball. There isn't anyone else like Jackson in the conference. Oregon fumbles the return, and it is really going to hurt, Cal is about to blow it open. Oregon dodges the bullet with a great defensive stand pushing the Bears out of field goal range with 10:16 to go. Cal has outgained UO 240-99 in the second half so far.

Oregon puts together a ninety yard drive and ties it back up 24-24. Nice series by Dixon. Cal's Nate Longshore goes down with a leg injury, looks like he will be back next series. Cal's next drive stalls, and they have to punt. Oregon throws an interception on the first play to O'Dea product Anthony Felder. Longhore comes back, and Cal scores the go ahead TD to go ahead 31-24. Oregon starts from their own 30 with 3 minutes left. Stewart rips off a 23 yard run against a tired Cal defense. Dixon throws another interception deep in Cal territory, and the Ducks are going to go down at home to Cal. Still a little time, but the Ducks have to burn all their timeouts and stop the Bears to get the ball back. Oregon has one last shot with 1:45 left. Oregon is inside the Cal ten yard line with 22 seconds to go. Oregon is at the goal line, and Cameron Colvin fumbles it out of bounds, and it is ruled a touchback which means Cal regains possession at the twenty, and holds on to win the game. Tough loss for the Ducks.

Penn State Upset By Illinois

Illinois knocked off Penn State 27-20 today in what is the upset of the day so far. Ron Zook has that program headed in the right direction. Of course if you ask opposing Big Ten coaches they will say that direction is probation.

Colorado Upsets Oklahoma 27-24

Dan Hawkins teams rallies to win the game on a last second field goal. Nice to see that he is having a better second year in Boulder. A signature win for Dan Hawkins.

Kansas State upsets Texas 41-21

The Longhorns have been on and off this year, and today they were completely off.

UCLA 40 Oregon State 14

The Beavers put together a nice drive and score first early, 7-0 OSU. The Beavers have moved out to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter. 14-6 OSU at the half. 14-12 in the third quarter. UCLA scored 21 points in the 4th quarter and now leads 33-14.

Arizona 48 WSU 20

Willie Tuitama threw for five touchdowns and freshman Nicolas Grigsby rushed for 186 yards in his second Arizona start, leading the Wildcats to a 48-20 victory over Washington State tonight.

Arizona State 41 Stanford 3

Rudy Carpenter threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Burgess late in the second quarter and Omar Bolden returned an interception for a score on the next play from scrimmage to lead the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils to a 41-3 victory over Stanford on Saturday night.

Southern Cal 27 UW 24

The Huskies receive and drive the length of the field only to have it intercepted at the Trojan five yard line. Just a bad read by Locker. USC throws an interception, and UW is back in business. USC has three personal fouls in the first quarter. Locker is on fire early, he is very accurate from the get go. USC stops them, and forces them to punt which will give SC the long field to work with. The first quarter ends scoreless, and UW has all the style points so far.

UW and USC exchange punts at the start of the second quarter. USC is still backed up at the Husky 15. USC fumbles and UW takes over at the Trojan 15! Locker runs it in and it is 7-0 UW. USC then marches down the field and scores after Mesphin Forrester bites on play action, 7-7 midway through the second quarter. CB Shareece Wright is now out for USC. UW is driving again and things are clicking on offense. USC get it's 4th personal field. Lots of USC cheap shots tonight. UW pins back USC inside the twenty again which is probably the best type of defense we can play.

USC puts together a long drive from the Husky 15, and takes it to the UW 17. The Huskies are stopping the run, but not the pass. USC witht he aid of a UW personal fouls competes the drive and puts it in the endzone. 14-7 USC with 4:15 left. UW takes the ball goes 3 and out and has to give the ball back to SC with plenty of time left in the half. USC starts at their own 39. USC is attacking the middle and trying to stretch the field. UW's Forrester intercepts, and takes it to the house and ties the score at 14-14!!! We have ourselves a ballgame!

USC rips off a 53 yard run to the Husky five. UW holds, and on 4th down the USC FG team has to come out. 17-14 USC with 16 seconds left, and it ends like that.

Great first half!

USC starts at their own 15. USC drives methodically down the field, and the UW defense is bending way too much. USC has third and long from the 29, and gets a holding call. Third and 21 from the Husky 39. USC hits a short pass to settle for the field goal, and they miss it!

UW takes over from their own 16. This drive could set the tone for the rest of the evening as the Huskies go 3 and out. Locker over thre a guy on 3rd and 2, not the best call. USC takes over after the punt at their own 40. USC gets a nice run after the pass on a third down, too bad, it was stopped. They are driving again. USC is down to the UW 30. SC gets another holding penalty. Booty hits Davis to the Husky 1 on a 33 yard USC uses the TE. USC drives it into th endzone. USC 24-14.

Rankin rips off a 24 yard drive to start the next drive. Jake faces a third and 12 as USC starts to shut down the passing game. Huskies have to punt, and back the Trojans up to the eight. Trojans go 3, and out. Trojans run into the returner and draw another penalty. UW starts at the 43. Locker drives them for a first down, but the Huskies lose a few on the next play but recover their own fumble. 24-14 USC heading into the 4th quarter.

Huskies pick up a great break as Taylor Mays commits pass interference. Huskies have the ball on the Trojan 27. Holding wipes out a big play. Another pass interference call on USC. This is a time consuming penalty sustained drive. UW settle for the FG. 24-17. USC with plenty of time left in the 4th quarter. USC is letting the underdog hang around way too long. USC gets sacked on the first play for a big loss. USC goes 3 and out!

UW starts out at their own 36 with lots of time left down only 7. UW has to punt after a couple of gains. USC's defense is not missing tackles. USC starts again from their own 15. USC goes 3 and out again. UW is disrupting them. Russo fumbles the punt idea what he was trying to do there....just fair catch it at midfield.

SC starts out at UW 45. They end up with a third and 3. UW has them stopped but four missed tackles allows a first down. USC bangs it on down to the Husky 20. UW's Davenport intercepts the ball in the endzone. The play is under review because after further review Davenport trapped the ball. USC sends in the FG team. USC hit, it and leads have they dodged a bullet. So close but yet so far in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. Hell of an effort by the Dawgs tonight.

Rankin gets a nice return to midfield. Locker takes over, and hits Russo for a very nice gain to the Trojan 35, then he is sacked at the 40. Huskies decide to go for it on 4th and 16 with 2:17 to go. Locker hits a big gainer to the USC five, but it is called back because Locker went over the line. So USC takes over and tries to run out the clock but ends up going 3 and out.

UW blocks the USC punt and returns it to the USC 10. Huskies throw a quick out to Reese at the 2. Locker takes it to the one, than they score the TD!!!

USC 27 UW 24 with 34 seconds left.

Huskies line up for the onside kick, and it is unsuccesful.

USC just has to run the clock out, and escape Seattle.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Weekly Predictions

I went 7-4 last weekend, and I am 36-14 on the year so far. UW, Bama, Penn St, and Oregon State let me down last week.

It is big game time for the Pac Ten with two marquee games back to back on Saturday.

USC at Washington

USC turnovers are the only thing that will keep this one close. Look for the Trojans to score early and often if they don't stop themselves. If UW pulls an upset off it will be epic, and what a great weekend to do it with Jim Owens, and the 1961 Rose Bowl team in town for a celebration. UW is the best team the Trojans have faced this year so far, and the Huskies haven't played as well as they can play in the second half the last two weeks. It will take four quarters, and a whole lot of luck this week.

California at Oregon

I have to go along with the oddsmakers and pick the Ducks this week. Both teams have problems on defense, and the Ducks let Stanford scare them a bit last week after they gave them the short field with turnovers. Oregon just seems like a more complete team at this point, and Cal never wins at Autzen.

UCLA at Oregon State

The question I have is how many turnovers combined will come out of this game? The team that self destructs the least will win, and I am picking UCLA because Canfield has been awful.

Arizona State at Stanford

The Devils will have no problem with the improving Cardinal. all they have to do is hold on to the ball and grind it out. Stanford did give Oregon a scare last weekend and is an improved team.

WSU at Arizona

I think the Cougars will score all day on the Wildcats. The Coug defense while terrible is good enough to hold the terrible UA offense down enough to get the win.

National Games

The biggest games of the week are out West, but this is how the rest of the country stacks up.

Auburn at Florida

A tough SEC game but I give the edge to the Gators at home. No upset for the Tigers this year.

Michigan State at Wisconsin

Both teams are undefeated, but I give a big edge to Wisconsin at home in this one.

Clemson at Georgia Tech

Tech is 2-2, but a real fine football team at this point, I pick them to upset Clemson in this one. I expect both to contend with BC for the ACC title at the end of the year.

Penn State at Illinois

The Lions are smarting after an unexpected loss to Michigan last week. Illinois is off to a good start, and should be bowl bound this year, but they won't beat Penn State.

Notre Dame at Purdue

A 0-5 start for Notre Dame? Yes, and it might be 0-8 before it starts to turn around when the schedule softens. Joe Tiller and his 4-0 bunch are going to jump all over the Irish. they love it in West Lafayette when they send the Irish home with their tails between their legs. this will be one of those games.

UW / USC Matchups

Quarterback - UW - You have the Heisman candidate surrounded by a bevy of stars surrounded by the future Heisman candidate surrounded by mere mortals. I take Locker for one reason, and that is foot speed, and rushing. He is going to need the foot speed to avoid the Trojan rush, and his rushing ability is always good for around 80 yards per game. USC if you remember had a tough time containing Stanback last year.

Running Backs - USC - The Trojans have eight guys in their stable who would be starting at UW this year. Chancey Washington is the main man, and not the most talented of the group. Fumbles are a problem with these guys, and if anything can keep UW in the game it is turnovers.

Wide Receivers - USC - The Huskies actually match up well when they hold onto the ball but they haven't done that lately. Booty is obviously the more accurate passer, and the Trojan wideouts have a lot more speed. I have to take the Trojans since the husky receivers have been in a slump, and their QB has been less than accurate.

Tight Ends - USC - Does UW even have any TE's anymore? Did you hear about the rumor of Kirton moving to DE next year? Kirton to me has been a waste at RB, and TE, the kid should have been a DE from the get go.

Offensive Line - USC - It's not even close on paper. UW OL's were on their back all last weekend, and now they go up against the best DL in the country.

Defensive Line - USC - USC starts a NFL draft pick at each position. Sedrick Ellis is a monster, a future #1 pick in the NFL draft. Can you say Steve Emtman? He has that ability.

Linebacker - USC - The Trojans have two starting LB's out for this game and even with that going on after the abysmal display by the Husky LB's last week I have to go with USC. UW could rally this week at this position, and prove me wrong.

Defensive Backs - USC - The Trojans have three guys who were slated to start this week at the beginning of the year out for the game, but you could have 6-7 out and they would still have more talent than the Huskies, or just about any other Pac Ten team in the defensive backfield.

Special Teams - USC - When you have this much talent stockpiled you have to get them out on the field. Great depth, speed and talent makes great special teams. Fresh fast guys going up against tired less talented guys later in the game really gives SC the edge. As far as punting, and placekicking goes it is actually pretty even. I don't have a lot of problems with Ballman, and Perkins at this point. Ballman will bounce back from last week at home.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Washington vs USC Preview

Washington faces off against USC at Husky Stadium in a nationally televised 5 pm game on ABC. Washington took the Trojans to the last tick of the clock last year on the road, and are hoping they can finish the deal this year at home. Both teams are improved from last year, but the growth curve is much sharper at USC.

When Washington has the ball

Washington needs a much better performance this week to stick with the high flying Trojans. That will be a tough order to fill against one of the nations top defenses. UW needs to find a way to get their running game going, and also heat up Jake Lockers throwing arm in the first quarter. Last weeks performance by Locker in the fourth quarter could be an omen of things to come.

USC is going to do what the past three opponents have tried to do, and that is shut down the Washington running game and pinch the corners so Locker can't get lose. USC has an incredible defensive line led by Sedrick Ellis, and Center Juan Garcia is going to have to play the best game of his career to keep him under control. USC relies on the front 3-4 to get pressure on the quarterback while the linebackers have contain responsibilities. The line is so good that he LB's can just sit back, and play cleanup, while the DB's concentrate on stopping the pass. USC despite losing two of it's starting CB's still has one of the best defensive backfields in the country. Free safety Taylor Mays is just a freak. The kid has the size of an inside linebacker, but possesses 4.25 speed.

UW needs to be different this week despite Lappano's vow to simplify things. UW must give the Trojans some looks that they haven't seen on tape yet to keep them on their toes. That means some misdirection, and stretching the field early with the passing game to open up running plays for Locker, and Rankin. The TE's have been absent all year, but plays over the middle are going to be there for the very brave.

TE's, and Fullbacks are remarkable stealth weapons, because the Trojans focus won't be on them. Problem is Washington is using them to block to make up for deficiencies in the offensive line. UW desperately needs to get them integrated in the game plan this week.

Jake Locker hasn't been a fast starter this year when it has come to passing the ball. One reason has been the placement of his feet which has resulted in some high, or inaccurate throws. The other reason is he is just amped up when he hits the field in the first quarter. UW needs to find a away to get him some high percentage tosses early. The Huskies can't be in early third, and long situations this week if they want to compete four quarters. Louis Rankins needs to pick up some yards.

When USC has the ball

USC does everything well currently on offense. Booty is a Heisman candidate type QB who has improved quite a bit from last season, and he is surrounded be a stable of former HS All American running backs and wide receivers. In front of him is one of the best offensive lines on the country.

The Trojan RB's can't be brought down with the type of tackling UW had last week. They love to hit, and spin to break tackles. They also don't get tired as the game goes on because Carroll can rotate up to eight All Americans at you all day. Stripping the ball is key because while this group is talented, they have a tendency to leave it on the turf.

The Trojans are going to come at the Huskies with a lot of balance, letting their athletes take over, and make plays. USC has no problem starting fast, and they have buried all three of their opponents in the first half this year. USC is going to try to stretch the field from the get go and test the Husky cornerbacks. SC looks at this game as a stepping stone for bigger games down the road, and they want to take a big step maturing their offense for those big upcoming tests.

USC does have one weakness, and that is a propensity to turn the ball over. It hasn't hurt them yet because they have been able to overwhelm each opponent, but it can be an equalizer against a quality opponent such as Oregon, California, or LSU. USC is still young on offense, and finding their way. If UW can force turnovers that turn into scores they may be able to surprise the Trojans.

Willingham said that "we probably had as many missed tackles as we've had in a while. That showed up in some of the big plays, that was part of the kickoff return, the long run. We had some opportunities to make that play and we didn't make them, and we've got to put them in a great place structurally as a coach.'' UW needs to do a much better job of preparing their players this week.

Washington needs to get pressure on the QB, and take advantage of turnover opportunities. No more dropped interception opportunities. You hang on to one last year and UW beats USC. Most importantly they need to do a better job than they did last week against the rushing game. If a crippled UCLA team can put up 41 points on Washington just think what USC is capable of?


Washington will be honoring it's 1960 National Championship team at halftime which will fire up the crowd going into the third quarter. Hopefully it will fire up the players. I am talking the 18-20 year old players, not the 65 year old players.

USC linebacker's Chris Galippo, and Brian Cushing will be sitting this one out with injuries. USC CB's Cary Harris, and Vincent Joseph are also likely to sit the game out. Safety Josh Pinkard is out for the second season in a row. USC isn't as banged up as UCLA, but they have some problems here, and there that will limit what they can do.

John David Booty, on whether USC has a go-to receiver."(David Ausberry) the other day, he made catches," Booty said. "They're all really talented. We were not doing a whole lot with the passing game. We haven't opened it up like last season."

Carroll admitted being concerned about USC's turnover ratio.``It's not the way I'd like. If I knew (how to end it), I'd stop it,'' he said.

Washington coach Ty Willingham on USC.“Honestly, I don’t know if there is a lot more that can be added to their resume. Obviously, they are a very good football team and at the top of the national polls this year, last year and it seems like almost forever now. They play very well. They play very aggressive. They are well-coached. It is a good football team.”

Willingham said the three-way battle at the one CB spot (Mosley, Davenport, McDowell) will be looked at all week before a decision is made. I'd assume Davenport to start but that it will be officially a game time decision.

Ken Baer said he thought all five of the bad UCLA plays were "very correctable. ... I think it was kind of a mental lapse for whatever reason. ... I just think it was almost to a point where you watched it and it was like 'I'm shocked.' But those things happen. The more veteran you are as a football team, we are veteran with our down four but not real veteran everywhere else, those mistakes come way less probably. And it's not just one guy, it's across the board. Maybe that's good news and bad news, I don't know.''

We hear tailback C.J. Gable is scheduled to get some carries against Washington on Saturday (no promises). By the way, USC coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday he still did not know who would start against the Huskies. Our hunch says Chauncey Washington.

"Jake Locker has just lit it up for a redshirt freshman -- as good a first showing, first four or five games, as a guy could have," Carroll said. "They know they have a great one in this kid. He's not a normal freshman out there playing."

Keith Rivers practiced at strongside linebacker Tuesday with Brian Cushing out. Rivers job will likely be to shadow Jake Locker. Rivers is rated as the top OLB in the country. If he gets hurt USC fans don't have to worry because the guy behind is probably almost as good.

"We're probably going to give Louis some rest time a little bit," offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said Tuesday. "With who, right now, I don't know. But I will say that we will probably have a little different rotation in there".

"We're still a very young offensive football team that's trying to figure things out," USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. "Outside of the quarterback (John David Booty) and the left tackle (Sam Baker), we're still a very young offensive team.

Tim Lappano comments that throwing deeper more at the end of the UCLA game was in part of a result of added confidence in QB Jake Locker to make those throws and that the success doing that could mean more of those types of plays this week. "That's the kid growing, that's growth, me trusting him to make some of those types of lower percentage throws,'' Lappano said. "If you're throwing it in practice, then you're able to throw them in the game, if not then you are reluctant to let loose with some of that stuff. We're seeing some pretty good throws in practice.''

Why Washington will win

Washington will in if USC self destructs, and turns over the ball giving the Husky offense a short field all day. UW proved they could move the ball on USC last year, but they have to take advantage of all their opportunities in the red zone.

You need to root for USC to come out flat, over confident, and be overwhelmed by the noise of Husky Stadium. The Trojans are still young, and this is a game they are possibly overlooking.

Locker needs to hit the big plays early this week just like he did in the fourth quarter against UCLA. He also needs some early help with his running game so Washington isn't always facing third and long. UW needs to show the Trojans something new, something tricky, something they haven't see yet on film.

Washington's special teams need to step up this week. I can't remember when Washington last won a special teams battle. Washington needs to win the special teams battle against a deep team with much better athletes. No more fumbles, blocked FG's, and long returns please!

Defensively the Huskies must control the run, and they can't afford to give up big plays. Booty is the straw that stirs the drink for the Trojan offense. The Huskies need to get into the Trojan backfield, and pressure him into mistakes. Booty is quite average when he is running for his life.

Why USC will win

USC will win by simply being USC.

The Washington offense will have a lot of trouble with the Trojan defense which means the Husky defense will be out on the field too much, just like last week. Washington will put up a fight, but USC will wear them down as the game goes on as they rotate in an out their bevy of All American players.

USC is going to go for the throat early, and that means they are going to go long against our cornerbacks and stretch the field. A big key to the game will be our ability to stop the long ball. USC doesn't like the underdog to stay around too long, they have seen all the film of Washington they need to see, so don't expect them to wait like UCLA, and Ohio State did. USC will strike first, deep, and often.

USC simply has the best collection of athletes in the country, and while you may be able to stay with them for a half they don't get tired, they are deep, and they know how to win. You are talking about a team that possibly has 30-40 future NFL players on it's roster. One look at the current UW roster reveals maybe 4-5. Of those 4-5 how many are seniors?

What do I think?

I think we are going to have a problem keeping USC under 50 points. This edition of USC is not only one of the best teams in the country, but it may be one of the top five teams of the decade. The Trojans Achilles heal is turning the ball over, and they will have to do that quite a bit to keep the Huskies in the game.

USC has an outstanding defense, but I think Locker and company will find a way to put some points on the board to make it respectable, but as the game goes on USC will just wear the Huskies out.

All that being said I am pretty sure Washington is the best team the Trojans have played so far this year, and they never play all that well in Husky Stadium. Upsets do happen, but I think this Husky team, and especially Jake Locker are a little too young to do it this year. As I said earlier in the week if we can come out of this one respectable, and healthy it will go a long way in determining our record at the end of the season.

I am predicting USC to win 44-21, but I am also predicting a close first half with the Huskies still in the game when they hit the field for the third quarter. What Washington does in that third quarter is going to determine the final outcome.

Do the Huskies even have a chance? Sure they do, they were a play, or two away from beating these guys last year on the road last season. Stanback had his way with these guys last year, and Jake has the potential to do it again this year. This could also be a week that a young USC team has an emotional let down of sorts on the road. It happens to the very best of teams.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

Welcome to hump day once again as we contemplate our fate as we start to head downhill into the weekend. USC is coming to town, and that is a scary thought to me because their defense might be a lot better than the one we faced against Ohio State a couple of weeks ago. I have just a couple of wishes going into this game. Those wishes are for Jake Locker to stay healthy, for the Huskies to throw down field, and over the middle earlier this week to give their offense a chance. A little misdirection wouldn't be bad either.

Nathan Ware of the PI Dawgblawg, and I are going to start collaborating together here, and at the PI on an article or two per week. We really are just at the searching for the common ground stage right now, but having two writers will make it easier on both of us, and it should make for more entertaining reading for all of you. We all go on vacation, we all need a break, so I think the idea of two laptops are better than one is pretty valid. Since we are independent bloggers we aren't edited by anything other than our own moods, and conscience. Having an extra voice will help us do a better job in that area too.

If you read the Dawgblawg you will realize that Nathan is an excellent football analyst, and writer. His PI blog today deals with the conscience of blogging, and I think he makes some great points.

Since seeing Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy blow up on a media member at a weekend press conference, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the subject: What do we have the right to say? It's a topic I think about every time I write a blog post but Gundy's rant really touched a nerve with me. It was perfect timing, too, because I felt like getting on the keyboard and doing a world-class rant of my own after the Dawgs melted down in the Rose Bowl Saturday night. I had some less than nice things to say about Kent Baer, the UW offensive line, both of our starting safeties, and whoever is responsible for the kick coverage that is driving me to go visit Pat O'Day at my local rehabilitation facility.

Pac Ten Alley

Now it's time to take a walk down the coast to see what the neighbors are up to.

We start the week off with USC. The rich are only getting richer as a JC recruit the Huskies really covet is likely headed to USC, or Cal. As for the game with Washington the Trojan faithful are approaching it with a big yawn.

Carl Moore, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound five-star wide receiver from Sierra Junior College in Rocklin, Calif., has decided he will officially visit USC on Oct. 6 for the Stanford game, instead of going to LSU that weekend.

Always one to joke, Coach Carroll began his weekly press conference this afternoon by parodying the weekend blowup of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. While approaching his seat at the press conference, Carroll scowled while holding a newspaper before he threw it down in phony anger.

ASU is still celebrating the unlikely win over Oregon State last weekend,

Oregon State: Nobody in Corvallis realizes how much they're going to miss departed QB Matt Moore. He was the heart and soul of the team that beat USC and I don't expect them to be in fighting shape by week four.At this time I’d like to toot my own horn and point out that I totally called this game... in July. Did they miss Moore? F%$*in’ A right they did, to the tune of FIVE interceptions and a few more almost-picks. Oregon State got away from their gameplan after the Devil D stopped RB Yvenson Bernard a few times and Canfield started churning out interceptions like free candy flowing from a van without windows.

The Ducks will be hosting the game of the week, and ESPN is coming to Eugene. Let's hope the classy Oregon fans will give them the typical, and classy Duck welcome.

It's official, ESPN Gameday will be in Eugene for the Cal game this Saturday. It was just announced on the local news stations, the location of the set is to be determined no later than tomorrow afternoon.

When senior wide receiver Brian Paysinger went down for the season with a knee injury last Thursday, it was a serious blow to No. 11 Oregon (4-0 overall, 1-0 Pacific-10 Conference) as it lost one its most seasoned and explosive players. Paysinger was the one who caught the winning touchdown catch against Oklahoma last year. He's the one who hauled in an 85-yard touchdown in the 39-7 win against Michigan. He led the team with 165 receiving yards before last week's 55-31 win over Stanford. "That was just a horrible loss," right tackle Geoff Schwartz said. "Brian is one of our great receivers and he's a great guy and it was tough for him to go out like that." For the fellow wide receivers, the loss stings even more. "We felt like we lost a family member when he got hurt," Garren Strong said. While the Ducks will miss his production and positive attitude on the field, fortunately for Oregon, it has enough talent to offset the loss of a starting wide receiver.

At Arizona they are using poise, and Mike Stoops in the same sentence. It won't be long till they use Mike Stoops and unemployed in the same sentence.

If Arizona is going to fight and crawl its way out of the doldrums then it needs to keep its poise.
Usually it is the coach talking about players when poise becomes an issue, not the other way around. But it was UA defensive tackle Lionel Dotson bringing up the more relaxed Mike Stoops on the sidelines against Cal. “I like how coach Stoops handled his poise,” Dotson said. “He showed poise. I think everybody on the team respected that. That is what we want to see. That was good.”

Next up for Oregon State is UCLA. I wonder how many turnovers the two teams combined will make?

I think that we have our work cut out for us. UCLA is very talented. I think it Is one of the best defensive teams in the Pac-10. Last year they played some outstanding defense. Of course we played them and they did a pretty good job against us and they appeared to just get better. They have 10 starters returning, so we have our work cut out for us there. They have also been running the ball extremely well offensively. They have also been very balanced. So they had their one clunker against Utah but besides that they have played good football, really rebounded and played a very good game against the Huskies last week

California goes into the Oregon game as 5 1/2 point underdogs.

Cal opened the week as a four-and-a-half point underdog, and as of Tuesday, the Ducks were five-and-a-half point favorites. But a few of the Bears players don’t mind the low expectations. “That’s good,” linebacker Worrell Williams said. “We like to think that we’re a team that is confident and explosive. To come into a game ranked higher than them and still be the underdogs gives us a little extra something to fight for.” One reason for the unfavorable odds may be the fact that Cal has not won in Autzen Stadium since 1987. Under coach Jeff Tedford, the Bears have been involved in tightly contested games, losing 21-17 in 2003 and dropping an overtime decision 27-20 in 2005. “We’ve had a chance to win up there both times we’ve gone up there,” Tedford said. “Twenty year streaks and stuff like that has nothing to do with these guys—some of these guys weren’t even born 20 years ago. It’s about this year. That’s what counts.”

WSU is licking it's wounds after being dominated by USC.

Don't you just love Pete Carroll? High School Harry, as they call him, but that genuine enthusiasm is infectious. Look at all the talent he gets on a yearly basis, just so much talent in the pipeline it's amazing, and yet all those kids play their butts off for him. He's got "open" Wednesdays in practice, where literally all jobs are up for grabs and the players fight like hell. On Fridays he's got the lineman vs. lineman game, wherever they are, and the only rule is no running plays. I know the Reggie Bush scandal, I know about the Matt Lienart - Dwayne Jarrett free rent deal, but they are the teflon program right now.

Hawaii slipped by Charleston Southern and Colt Brennan has recovered.

Stephen Tsai writes about the injuries to Colt Brennan and Blaze Soares, who both plan to play this weekend, Jason Rivers, who may not, and Ryan Mouton, who had an MRI done on his knee and feels good about his chances to play. On the other hand, freshman safety Le'Marcus Gibson looks to be done for the year due to an ACL injury:

Syracuse had the upset of the week knocking off Louisville.

The State of the Orange has a much sunnier outlook as I write this. Syracuse is coming off a big time upset of #18 Louisville, and quite frankly has re-energized Orange Nation. There is excitement and talk after this major statement win. But one game does not define a coach, so I will write this assessment with the bitter disdain and cold heart I wrote Part 1 with.

Boise State is taking on Southern Miss this week.

Once the Boise State football schedule was finalized, one of the games I was most looking forward to was Thursday’s contest against Southern Miss. I’ve always thought the Golden Eagles have fostered a very good program that has kind of flown under the radar…quite similar to Boise State before last season. Southern Miss has had 13 straight winning seasons, something even the Broncos haven’t matched (BSU has not had a losing season since 1997). “It’s so easy in college football today, maybe even around here, to go ‘13 winning seasons. Winning seasons? Who cares about that?” Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said. “That’s impressive … to be that consistent for that long is why we have a lot of respect for their program.”

At Ohio State a backup QB is going to be doing a little community service.

Just as Ohio State quarterback Antonio Henton appeared to be moving up the depth chart, the freshman was arrested, suspended from the team and subjected to a judge's scolding. Henton, 20, was arrested Monday night in a prostitution sting and charged with soliciting an undercover female police officer. He pleaded not guilty yesterday morning, then posted $250 bond and was released in the afternoon. In court, a handcuffed Henton said nothing and hung his head. Judge Amy Salerno, though, had plenty to say.

At UCLA they got the bad news that Pat Cowan is going to be out for at least three weeks.

Any budding quarterback controversy at UCLA was pruned Monday when the school said backup Patrick Cowan suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Cowan will be sidelined for at least three weeks, but given that time frame and UCLA's schedule, it will be at least a month before he is ready for a game.That gives Ben Olson, who missed Saturday's win against Washington because of headaches (the school still is not calling it a concussion), time to cement his role as starter. UCLA plays Saturday at Oregon State, and hosts Notre Dame on Oct. 6. After a bye week, the Bruins host California Oct. 20, which could be when Cowan is again available.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dan Raley on Lambo

Dan Raley wrote a nice column on Jim Lambright today in the PI

Jim will always have a special place in my heart because he taught me how to lift weights, and condition for football. His lack of selfishness helped me win a scholarship to a small college out of high school. Jim is a very nice man who deserved one heck of a lot better end to his career at UW. He wasn't perfect, he wasn't Don James, but he was perhaps the greatest Husky of all time. If you look at the entire history of Husky football it is hard to find a bigger contributor than Jim Lambright.

It is still tough for me to understand how you would pick Barbara Hedges over Jim Lambright.

Taking A Close Look at USC

USC is headed into Seattle this weekend and the Huskies hope to recover to put on a respectable showing against the top rated team in the country.

The Trojans haven't shown any weaknesses this season after dropping a couple of games last year. They are solid on both sides of the ball, and have blown out every opponent they have faced so far this season.

USC didn't really have to work up a sweat against Idaho, Nebraska, and Washington State, all three of those games were sewed up early in the first half.

Coach Pete Carroll (65- 12 in six years) led the USC Trojans (11- 2 overall, 7- 2 PAC-10) to a tie for first-place in the PAC-10 and to their 6th consecutive bowl appearance. This time they played Michigan in the Rose Bowl and beat them 32- 18. USC looks poised again to finish first in the conference and to compete for a top position at the end of the season.

The Trojans scored an average of 30.5 PPG last season, using the strong of arm of John David Booty (61.7% COMP, 3,347 YDs, 29 TDs, 9 INTs)—a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. Booty has a new coordinator, since Lane Kiffin left to coach the Oakland Raiders.

Steve Sarkisian, who is in his sixth year with the team and his first as coordinator, knows the club and Booty. Look for him to employ the shotgun, which Booty should utilize effectively. Booty has plenty of depth at receiver plus depth at RB with senior Chauncey Washington (157 CAR, 744 YDs, 4.7 AVG, 9 TDs) and talented sophomore C.J. Cable competing for the starting back spot. On the frontline, the Trojans return three starters and enough talent to fill out the line with quality play.

On defense, USC allowed a mere 15.2 PPG in 2006. The defense has 10 starters returning, which means they will be tougher and better than last season. Standouts include senior WLB Keith Rivers (85 tackles, 47 solo) and junior MLB Rey Maualuga (78 tackles, 45 solo). LB Brian Cushing was the defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl. Don't forget Seattle, and O'Dea HS product Taylor Mays who may be the teams most talented player. The frontline and secondary have talented starters and a lot of depth behind those guys.

Washington has a history of saving it's best games for the Trojans. Last year UW took them to the final seconds of the clock before losing the game. That however was a trend that happened to the Trojans in almost every game as they battled the inconsistencies of youth. This years edition seems a lot more consistent, and while they are still not up to the Bush, Leinhart, Williams, Jarrett level, they are starting to get close. LSU, and Florida may be the only teams in the country capable of playing with the Trojans this year.

For Washington to keep it respectable they need to eliminate mistakes, and find a running game to keep their defense off the field. Washington's 3 and out offensive performance in the first half wore out there defense for the second half, they need to find a way to control the ball to have a chance in this one.

Like last year when we played USC we have one equalizer, and that is Locker just like it was Stanback last season. Jake is the one player who can make a difference, and he needs to come out of the gate on fire to be able to slow down USC. Lappano needs to give him things he can get done. Count on SC to play man, and penetrate from the outside giving UW the middle of the field. UW needs to start taking advantage of that immediately.

Washington's defense is actually one of the better one's in the Pac Ten when they are not dog tired, and are prepared correctly. It is up to the coaching staff to correct the errors in preparation that have plauged the team the last two weeks. UW had a good game plan last year, and the Trojans haven't changed all that much except for being more experienced. If we can keep our defense fresh, and change up our schemes, we will do better this week with the help of the home crowd.

Can the Huskies win the game?

I think this team can compete with anyone if they play error free, block better, and correct the problems on special teams.

Jake Locker is extremely dangerous just like Stanback was last season, when he is on as we saw in the fourth quarter last week he can put points on the board. Our defense when rested and prepared can give us a shot to win as we saw in the first half of tOSU, and UCLA.

Turnovers of course are another great equalizer, and they can happen to any team, even USC. If UCLA, and Utah played ten times, UCLA would win nine of them. If USC can cough the ball up a number of times it would be a step in the right direction for an upset to happen.

USC on the other hand is a whole different kind of animal.

Even if the Huskies were coming into this game 4-0 I would think the chances of beating the Trojans would be minimal this season. They just have too much talent, depth, and experience. A good example of that depth is at the CB position. USC has lost both of it's starting CB's which would hurt a lot of teams. USC just reloads with another HS All American such as Shareece White. UW doesn't have a single player in it's secondary as talented as White, and he is second string at USC.

It is going to take a miracle for the Dawgs to win this Saturday, but miracles do happen if your opponent lets down, and makes mistakes. For Washington to win this game they are going to have to play one heck of a game, and win just about every phase. USC has to turn the ball over, and give the Husky offense a short field to work with. Husky Stadium is a very tough place to play for the Trojans, and crowd noise is always a factor.

The Huskies honor their 1960 National Champions on Saturday led by former head man Jim Owens. Hopefully the hoopla surrounding that event, and the throwback uniforms can put some fire in the Huskies belly. UW needs to come to this game with the same intensity, and toughness of that group led by Bob Schloredt, George Fleming, and Don McKeta. Hopefully Willingham will involve his team in pep talks before the game with those old Husky greats.

Emotion can be a powerful factor in a football game. The game starts at 5:00 PM Pacific allowing the fans to get properly juiced up for this contest. The ceremony honoring what is probably Washington's greatest team should go a long way in firing up the crowd for this one. Todd Marinovich once said, "All I Saw was Purple". UW has a chance to do that again on Saturday if all the pieces fall into place with execution.

Aftermath Notes

If you look at the film, and read Jake Locker's comments today you can find that the key to his early inaccuracy was his footwork. Happy feet kills QB's. Lappano wasn't doing him any favors when he sprinted him out one way and had to throw the other. That is a tough play for an NFL QB to make, and with UCLA's penetration it was ripe for interception. That is what happened and it cost us an uncontested seven points.

"We watched the film and my feet were in the wrong place a couple of times,'' he said. "I kind of got crazy with my feet, which I hadn't had a problem with the last couple of weeks. So it's something I need to focus on this week in practice.''

Another comment that came out was something I noticed early in the game but never came to life till the fourth quarter. It was throwing downfield, and throwing over the middle. One thing that really bugged me about the gameplan, and the lack of adjustments in the first half was that Washington wasn't taking what UCLA was giving them. UCLA was giving it to them because they knew by scouting UW they were hesitant to take it. You hope Lappano learns from it because USC is going to be doing the same thing, except it will be with better athletes.

Locker and receiver Anthony Russo each said one reason for the success was that the Huskies finally began throwing the ball downfield. Russo said receivers had been "bugging the coaches about it'' all game and that the plays were finally called in the fourth quarter with UW behind. Russo said that "hopefully the coaches open it (the playbook) up some more'' this week.

Everything you wanted to know about the University of Southern California

The University of Southern California (commonly referred to as USC, 'SC, Southern California, and incorrectly as Southern Cal, they hate that), located in the University Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, California and was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university.

USC men's and women's athletics have won 84 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships, third best in the nation, trailing only UCLA and Stanford. Note that the NCAA does not include football championships in its calculation. If it did, USC's 11 football championships would bring the total to 95. USC men's teams have combined for 86 national championships, the best in the nation. In addition, USC has 347 Individual NCAA Championships, best in the nation. The men's 296 Individual Championships are best in the nation and 50 ahead of second place Michigan.

The colors of USC are cardinal and gold, which were approved by USC's third president, Rev. George W. White, in 1895. In 1958 the shade of gold, which was originally more of an orange color, was changed to a more yellow shade. The letterman's awards were the first to make the change.

The Trojan Shrine, better known as "Tommy Trojan," is a bronze statue located at the center of campus, and an integral figure in school pride, embodying the values of a Trojan: Faithful, Scholarly, Skillful, Courageous, and Ambitious.

Traveler, a majestic white horse, has been the USC mascot since 1961. Mounted by a rider dressed as a Trojan warrior, Traveler gallops around the field at every home football game whenever USC scores.

Prior to Traveler, making his first football game appearance in 1940, USC's mascot was a campus mutt called George Tirebiter that went around campus chasing cars. A statue was erected in his honor in 2006.

Spectators walking from campus to the Coliseum back-kick the base of one of the flag poles at the edge of campus on Exposition Boulevard to ensure good luck for the football team at their next game.

USC is also known for its marching band, known as The Spirit of Troy, which also calls itself "The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe". The band has been featured in at least 10 major movies and performed in the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Because of USC's proximity to Hollywood and being home to the top-ranked USC School of Cinematic Arts, the university has been used in thousands of movies, TV shows, commercials, and music videos. USC serves as a popular spot for filmmakers, standing in for numerous other universities, "playing" institutions such as Harvard and Oxford in movies and on television.

Famous USC alumni include OJ Simpson, Frank Gifford, Rickie Bell, Frank Gehry, Neil Armstrong, Marcus Allen, Mark McGwire, Tom Hicks, Sol Price, Charles Prince, Andrew Viterbi, Chris DeWolfe of Myspace fame, Jerry Buss, Frank McCourt Jr, James Horner, George Lucas, Will Ferrell, John Wayne, Warren Christopher, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, and former First Lady of the United States Patricia Nixon, just to name a few.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Monday morning has rolled around again, and Husky fans are pretty morose after watching another game we had a chance to win, turn into another disappointing loss.

One of our long time readers who was at the game shared these thoughts, and I thought it would be interesting to start off the morning answering them in a space that would give me enough room.

Nice job Prrbrrr!

1. Was Meamber right?

(Yes, the Husky defense is not aligned correctly, and they are not making correct reads. UCLA obviously scouted and exploited it again this week.)

2. Once again, Baer makes an average team look All American. The starting QB practices only 4 days this year and torches you. The walk on RS Fr never played a snap replacement comes in and you overstack the box? Morons. You can cheat up a little, but my gosh.

(UW didn't go after Cowan from the get go, that allowed him to gain confidence. The over stack, goal line defense was an obvious coaching error. Not something you do when you have a tired defense going against rested RB's.)

3. We are trying to recruit Kavario Middleton as a TE, but would you come to an offense which threw 1 pass to a TE in 2 games, even though UCLA was giving us that play.

(UCLA gave us the play because they knew we wouldn't take it. I don't think it effects Kavario, it just shows we need better TE's. Kitd's look for opportunity to play immediately, UW has that in spades. The overall talent is actually getting better, but it is young, and we need more of it.)

4. Did you notice that the replacement guard for UCLA's Tevaga jumped off early at least 3 times in first half. DO we exploit that, no! Two 100 yard rushers in a game, especially when you have the RS walkon.

(That guard had lots of experience as a backup, he blocked decently even though he jumped a lot. Giving up big plays is the reason they rushed well, Baer was right take out the big plays and the defense did ok. I think the biggest factor was fatigue.)

5. Jake Locker is the real deal, but he is young. TL is trying to hit home runs with him, look at what UCLA did with Cowan, short outs to get the confidence in. JL is at the stage where he still locks on, and is barely able to get past his primary. Put him in a position to succeed.

(The middle was open all night, so dragging TE's across 10 yards deep, and sneaking out your FB's would have been high percentage calls. UCLA plays a very physical man defense, so they jam our WR's at the line of scrimmage which negated the type of quick outs we were giving UCLA by providing the 10 yard cushion. Locker came out cold, and looked like a deer in the headlights, so it isn't all TL.)

6.The staff talked about Ellis, and Goodwin (to stretch the field) but just talk. Our long threat is Russo, too slow to get separation. Reese is an enigma, poor concentration on routines but always one spectacular.

(They don't use a lot of players, they don't rotate or substitute well to keep players fresh. Russo probably does the best job of any player on the team with the skill he has.)

7. 3rd and 1, two fullbacks, too slow. Rankin needs to be relegated to KOR and maybe slotback where he can be in space. As for the RB coach, 3 yrs to coach it out of him or replace him and neither has happened. Solution replace RB coach Miles.

(Rankin should be returning kicks, no doubt about it. The FB's look like FB's. I don't see a lot of progress under Miles, and he is a so so recruiter.)

8. Davenport is an upgrade, not much McDowell, hope we haven't ruined his psyche ala Roc and Massey.

(McDowell will be fine, and has performed well in my opinion. A healthy Davenport is a much better choice.)

9. Special teams were very special this game in the negative. It is past time to suggest to an old friend(s) its time to retire with dignity, some people don't get it.

(I agree on that one even though I like him as a recruiter. I would never hire a former head coach as an assistant.)

10. Our OL is below average. DL was vastly overrated in preseason. LBs have already been I.D.'ed.

(The OL is young, and needs more talent. It is a position that takes five full years to upgrade. I think the DL is fine, they don't get any help from the people behind them, and if they stay on the field too long they get tired. I think the LB corp shows a lot of talent, but as Meamber said, they are not being properly prepared to make the correct reads. When you are out of position it is tough to make plays. They are also a little small.)

11. I would not give TW the 5th year. The kids are willing and trying, but the coaching both strategical (game plans) and tactically (lack of adjustments) are poor.

(Usually the fifth year is a gift, just like the fifth year for a scholarship athlete. When you make coaching changes it is usually a given that you buy out the last year of the contract. To be fair, this is only the start of year three, and the best most of us thought they would do is be 2-3 after the USC game. the thing that burns most people is we could have been 4-0 going into USC.)

12. I think our best hope is to show some improvement to hopefully recruit well enough to let the new regime (tba Dec2008) a solid foundation. It is time to to discretely identify candidates, no more retreads, find the next Urban Meyer, Jeff Tedford. It can be done.

(Jim Mora Jr. is the obvious next head coach in waiting. Most of the big money guys firmly are in his court. That being said, Don Coryell was in that position in 1969, and it never happened. 2007 was always going to be a major rebuilding year, so the emphasis for Ty is too have a very good 2008, and bring in a strong class this Winter.)

12. Lastly a funny quote from the RB by a UW fan as he was leaving that stinkeroo, "we want Gilby".

(This was a Gilby type game, poor game day coaching, poor scouting, and preparation...stinkeroo is an apt description.

I think Willingham agrees with you. "The coaches have to help them. We have to get them in the perfect position. And then we've got to get the execution.")

13. As for me, life goes on, the RB/UCLA jinx continues, and I have decided on Baer after actually giving his scheme deep thought. This game only added more coaches to the list. JD Williams and maybe Bagget are the only ones that should be retained if at all. TW is not CEO, friendship has clouded his bottom line.

(They aren't getting it done, and they are not giving their team the best chance to win. UCLA, and Ohio State were very beatable, but they won because they made second half adjustments, the UW staff hasn't shown they can do that.)

14. Sorry for a too lengthy rant, but I had to get it off, this after a cooling off. Noticed you went off both here and at Dman too, so we can both be excused.

(I did go off, and have to admit that I had quite a few during the game. I broke my own rule, don't post immediately after the game with a buzz. I sheepishly took a look at what I wrote the next day and couldn't find much I disagreed with.)

Pac Ten Round Up

USC didn't have any problem with Washington State, and I don't think they are going to lose a single game this year. they are excellent on both sides of the ball. LSU, and USC will meet for all the marbles in January. The Trojans take on UW in Husky Stadium this week, and it is going to be very ugly. UW's goal should be to protect it's players from injury.

Oregon State came out and hit ASU in the mouth, but Sean Canfield continues to destroy this team as he has five interceptions which basically handed ASU the win. ASU is a very good team at this point. OSU should have won this one, but you cannot beat anyone when you turn the ball over. Stop the OSU rushing game, make Canfield throw it, and you win the game. OSU takes on UCLA this week. The Sun Devils take on Stanford. Watch OSU rebound and slap the Bruins around because they can play defense, but offensively they have to eliminate the mistakes.

California got a late scare from Arizona, but still won handily. Arizona's defense which was supposed to be a strong point isn't doing it. California can score on anyone, but their defense is going to lose them a few games this year. Cal has Oregon next week, more on that below.

Oregon is in the same boat as Cal, but their offense may be in better shape right now. Oregon allowed the plucky Stanford Cardinal 31 points, and the Cards actually led at the half. Like Cal, Oregon's defense is going to lose them a few games this year. Stanford has ASU next week.

Oregon has it's first huge game of the year with Cal at home coming up this week. I am going to take Oregon in this showdown. I think the Ducks offense is playing better than Cal's right now, and will be able to outscore the Bears in a game that should go over 100 combined points.

The Weekly Poll Question

Last we asked?

Will Washington beat UCLA?

Yes 31% (29 votes)
No 9% (8 votes)
Washington will win by two or more TD's 57% (53 votes)
UCLA will win by two or more TD's. 3% (3 votes)

The overwhelming majority thought we would beat them by two TD's which was probably fueled by Ben Olson going down with a concussion.

This week we ask:

Do you have confidence in the UW coaching staff?

I am certainly not going to waste your time asking of we can beat USC. The last six quarters have been attrocious from a coaching perspective in my opinion. I think our coaches frankly hurt us in the second half the last two games. I think the gameplan going in against UCLA was plain lousy. Was it just an off week, or are you losing confidence in the coaching staff?

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. USC....Nobody in the conference has the balance of the Trojans. (Rising)
2. California....Defense is Achilles heal. (Holding)
3. Oregon....Showdown with Cal this week. (Holding)
4. ASU....Nice win over Oregon State. (Rising)
5. UCLA...Good win over UW, but not firing on all cylinders. (Holding)
6. Washington....Terrible performance against UCLA. (Falling)
7. Oregon State....QB position is killing them. (Falling)
8. Washington St....Did you expect them to beat USC? (Holding)
9. Stanford....Nice job against Oregon. (Rising)
10. Arizona....Stoops not getting it done. (Falling)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

10 Sober Points from Last Nights Game

It's time of course to take a sober look back at last nights game to see if I have a different view of things now that the Woodfords, and anger have worn out. The funny thing is I really don't. Here are a few key area's to talk about from last night's game.

1. Fatigue....The Husky Defense was on the field way too much last night. They did a good job holding UCLA to only 10 points in the first half, but never ran aggressive schemes against a gimpy QB when they were fresh. They never really pressured Cowan much in the first half. Offensively the Huskies couldn't find any rhythm in the first half which ended up wearing out our defense.

2. Defensive Adjustments....The Husky Defense came out flat in the second half. They didn't make any adjustments, and UCLA started picking on the corners by taking advantage of the ten yard cushion. UCLA's first drive of the third quarter was basically uncontested as they drove the length of the field to take a 7 point lead. Talk about taking what you are given, the Bruins did it on this drive.

3. Play Calling....As I said earlier the Husky offense couldn't find any rhythm early last night. UW wasn't taking what UCLA was giving them. the Bruins were blitz happy last night, and what was open was intermediate routes down the middle. where is the TE, where is the FB? The Huskies hit Paul Homer for a big gainer that was called back in the second half. That was a good example of what the Bruins were giving UW if they had figured out how to take advantage of it. When you score 31 points it should be enough to win. When you are tied 10-10 at the half you are still a good position to win. However all that offensive inefficiency on the first half kept the defense on the field way too long.

4. Extremely Bad Play Call....You can pin the 60 yard interception return for a TD by UCLA in the third quarter directly on Tim Lappano. That was an extremely dangerous pass play to call against a UCLA defense that had been getting penetration all night. It was a low percentage pass thrown cross field by Jake Locker who had been running the other direction which didn't allow him to get his feet properly set. Tough play for any QB, especially a RS. At that point it was 24-10, and most of us figured that we were done, but surprisingly enough we almost turned the game around right after that point.

4. The Big Turnaround....Lady luck smiled on the Huskies when they intercepted a pass and brought it back to the Bruin twenty. Jake hits a strike to the endzone and it is suddenly 24-17, and Lappano has finally found some rythym in his play calling. The TD was a big shot in the arm for the offense. Defensively it was a big play for the Dawgs, and UCLA QB Pat Cowan was injured on the play and had to leave the game. It was right at this point that UW finally had UCLA where they wanted them.

5. Not Seizing the Advantage....On the very next series UCLA brings in the only QB left on their roster, a non scholarship RS frosh with no experience, as I said last night, you are talking Felix Sweetman. Kent Baer and UW has to know what is coming at them for the rest of the game, they are not going to let this kid pass much. UCLA is going to run the ball. You also have to factor in that the Husky defense is tired from being on the field all night. What does Coach Baer do? He lines the team up in what looked like a goal line defense without back end support. Chris Markey pops a 72 yard TD run and UCLA leads 31-17. All UW had to do at this point was be conservative as they had been all night, and play it safe. The defensive alignment was just terrible on that play....but the game still wasn't over.

Why didn't UW make the RS frosh QB win this game? Big plays happen, but this was just ridiculous, why line up that way? UW was just asking for trouble and they got it immediately.

6. The Middle....UW responds with their best drive of the football game, and the Huskies are finally showing they have rhythm. Jake Locker is passing the ball well. The 63 yard strike to Russo is a thing of beauty as UW is now taking advantage of the Bruin blitz. UW is finally taking advantage of what the Bruins have been giving them all night. UCLA leads 31-24 and we still have a chance to put these guys away.

7. Special Teams....DJ used to say that special teams are 1/3 of the game. I can't remember the last time time UW has won a game with their special teams. On the kickoff UW finally puts itself out of the game by kicking a line drive that was caught on the run at the 15 by Sprint Champion Matt Slater who returned the ball for an 85 yard TD. You know your guys are fatigued, why not have the kicker go for the corner? Why not have him squiggle it so the return threat is negated? UW didn't think of that, and suddenly it was 38-24 UCLA.

8. Big Plays...UCLA used the big play all night to beat Washington. sure they dominated statistically as UW was unable to stop the pass, or rush, but UW had a good chance to win this one if they could stop the big plays.

A. Halfback pass for TD
B. Interception return for 60 yard TD
C. 72 yard run by Chris Markey with UCLA out of scholarship QB's.
D. 85 yard kick off return

That is 28 points given up on four plays, and there is no way you are going to be able to overcome that. You give up big plays because you blow coverage, don't prepare well, or you are running the wrong scheme. UW was guilty of that all night. Take away just a couple of those big plays, and Washington wins this football game despite struggling on offense, and being fatigued on defense.

9. Coaching....I wouldn't say that either team had an edge in coaching last night, but give Dorrell credit where credit is due for the way his team came out to start the second half. That first drive they put together was the result of making adjustments in the locker room at half. UW on the other hand didn't make any defensive adjustments to counter it. How about Bob Simmons and special teams? The guy is zero for 2 1/2 years leading Husky special teams, he has to go. Lappano wasn't on his game, but he did make the adjustments that allowed the Huskies to have a chance to win and put 31 points on the board. If Baer and Simmons were doing their jobs that should have been more than enough.

10. Woodfords Special Reserve....My wife brought home a surprise for me last night from Costco, and I have to say that I went through a good portion of the bottle watching the game. I would have to say that she, and that bottle where the MVP's from last nights game. The Huskies are a lot better than they played last night. Jake Locker is going to be a Heisman candidate before it is all said, and done. As for Ty Willingham the jury is still out, but he is starting to run out of time, and in my opinion he may not be around for the dedication ceremony of the new Husky Stadium.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Coaching Errors....Rose Bowl Jinx

Washington had UCLA on the ropes last night when Pat Cowan went down with a knee injury, all they had to do was depend on the coaching staff to make the right calls, and as they did all night, they were not up to the task.

UW was terrible almost the entire night on offense, but in the third quarter the Huskies intercepted a pass and returned it to the Bruin 20. Jake Locker made a strike to the end zone, and suddenly with Pat Cowen out, the Huskies were ready to deliver a knockout blow to the Bruins. UW was only down 7 at this point and had total momentum while Pat Cowan was crying on the sidelines. The Bruins were suddenly down to a non scholarship QB with no experience to finish the game.

Kent Baer who was out coached the entire evening put his team in an improper alignment that allowed the Bruins to score from their 28 on a 72 yard touchdown by Chris Markey. The alignment was beyond total stupidity because all the Huskies had to do at this point was play as they had all night, and that was 10 yards off the line because the kid couldn't make a play if he tried. Baer panicked, didn't use reason, and abandoned the game plan that had gotten him to this point. If Baer was going to get aggressive he should have done it two quarters earlier when he had a fresh defense. At this point of the game he had a fatigued defense that had been out on the field all night long....what a total moron.

The Huskies continued to answer on offense as Locker hit Russo for a 63 yard pass for another touchdown. Stupidity once again was exhibited by the coaching staff by kicking directly to former California Sprint champion Matt Slater who returned the ball 85 yards for another TD negating their advantage once again. Why exactly would you do that with a fatigued team that had been on the field all night?

That was the story of the game even though Locker answered again with another TD drive.

Here is the point Husky fans, we had them on the ropes, and coaching errors sealed the defeat.

UW was never in sync all night despite being tied 10-10 at halftime putting up almost no offense in the first half as the result of bad play calling, and poor execution.

If there are any positives to be had from this contest it is the fact that Jake Locker may have come to age tonight under fire. The kid hung in there all night, and never gave up. He gained an incredible amount of experience, but you can't give away 21 points to your opponent on gifts and expect to win....better days are ahead, but it won't be next week.

One other thing, I would bench Louis Rankin and go with the Hasty, and the Frosh, I am so sick and tired of him not hitting the hole.

UW vs UCLA Game Blog

It is early Saturday morning and we have around 14 hours till kickoff at the Rose Bowl. Most of the local writers are predicting the Huskies to win in a close game because of the fact that the Bruins will have seven starters out for this one and will be led by a QB with a gimpy hamstring. If you look at our poll an overwhelming majority of posters have picked UW to win by two touchdowns which I find quite interesting.

The game is going to be broadcast in HD by Fox tonight which is a great thing. I just happened to have picked up a Direct TV HD DVR at Costco yesterday to celebrate. If you have Direct TV there is good news coming from the HD side of things, they should go live with 75 new HD channels in the next week or so, and add a total of 150 new ones by the end of the year.

Getting back to discussing the game...this is one of those games where it is very difficult to get a good feel going in.

Ten Things to Ponder

1. UCLA has seven starting players declared out for the game. That is 1/3 of their starting lineup.

2. UCLA is coming off a 44-6 thrashing by Utah.

3. This is a crucial game for Karl Dorrell who is in his 5th year at UCLA. He needs to prove last week was a fluke, and that he has firm control of his team.

4. UCLA had five turnovers and ten penalties last week.

5. UCLA is down to one QB, and he has a bad hamstring.

6. UW also has a few things to prove too. They led tOSU 7-3 in the third quarter then imploded due to offensive, and special teams mistakes.

7. UW hasn't been able to develop a running game over the past six quarters.

8. UW's receivers have made life tough for Jake Locker by dropping a bevy of passes the past six quarters.

9. UW hasn't won against UCLA at the Rose Bowl since 1995. That would make Jake Locker around seven years old the last time it happened.

10. The last three meetings have been very close. Willingham, and Lappano seem to be able to out coach Dorrell, and the UCLA staff.

Syracuse upsets Louisville!

Remember when I called the quarterbacks even in the matchups for the Syracuse/UW game? Well I felt silly after the game because Locker was so much better than Robinson, and I even said that they both would be playing on Sundays in the future. I am redeemed, Robinson has arrived! He threw four TD passes against Louisville today as Syracuse upset the 18th ranked Most of us had written off Syracuse...isn't college football great!

Pac Ten Game Summaries and Updates

Three late night games on tap tonight in the Pac Ten. UW get's the latest start at 7:28 pm Pacific time.

California 45 Arizona 27

This one is plain ugly with the score 38-17 in the third quarter. Cal hit for 28 points in the first quarter, and has been on cruise control ever since.

Arizona is now suprisingly making a game out of it scoring ten points in the fourth quarter. They trail 38-27 with 12:42 left in the! when was the last time Arizona scored 27 points? either Cal's defense suck's, or UA is rounding into shape on offense.

Cal answeres with a TD and picks up the victory 45-27.

USC 47 WSU 14

The Cougars are hanging with the Trojans as it is 7-7 in the first quarter. The Cougar defense is pretty porous so if WSU is going to stay in it they need to put their track shoes on. WSU is plain bad on D, but the offense makes it interesting. the Trojans just socred again after getting the short field after a long kickoff return. 14-7 USC and the track meet is on. I know they can score against WSU, but I am keeping my eye on the USC defense to see how porous they are in conference play.

USC is looking pretty unstoppable against the Cougars. anyone who beats these guys is going to have to have a high powered offense, and a rock solid defense. I don't see that combo in the Pac Ten as yet this season. Trojans kick a field goal to cap a 98 yard drive to take the lead 17-7 early in the second quarter.

USC is putting a whooping on the Cougars 27-7 with about a minute left in the first half....this one is over.

47-14 in the 4th quarter and plenty of style points for USC.

Oregon vs Stanford

Watching film of Oregon's first three games would be enough to scare any defense.

Ducks jump out 14-3 in the first quarter.

21-17 Oregon in the second quarter as Stanford shows some life.

Stanford has taken the lead 24-21 late in the second quarter, gotta love it!

Stanford is shocking Oregon 31-24 with about 30 seconds left in the half.

Stanford realed of 28 unanswered points!

Oregon ties it up at 31-31 in the third quarter.

45-31 Oregon as reality sets in.

Oregon State vs Arizona State

The Beavers try to break the Tempe jinx.

OSU jumps out 16-0 in the first quarter....Sorry Dennis!

OSU 19-7 with eight minutes left in the half.

19-10 OSU with a minute left. 19-13 at the half.

26-13 OSU midway through the third.

26-20 OSU as we near the end of the third.

Washington vs UCLA

The UCLA Bruins will try to bounce back from a disappointing defeat. So will the Washington Huskies. Only one will succeed.

Not a good 1st quarter for the offense, but the defense saved them and UCLA only has a 3-0 lead. As predicted UCLA came out fighting tonight. The second quarter starts with a couple of mistakes and the Huskies are getting zero production out of the offense. Petro Papadakis is totally annoying as a color man.

UW gets a break early in the 2nd quarter as UCLA muffs a punt and UW recovers. Lets see iff the offense can get something going. Have to say the play calling, and execution have left a lot to be desired so far.

Huskies drive it down to the 2 and Locker hits Reese in the endzone for 6!

7-3 Washington

UCLA bets UW to bite on a TB pass for a long gain to inside the five and they convert on a nice pass on third down to take back the lead. Greyson Gunheim goes down with a knee injury.

10-7 UCLA

UW needs to put together a decent drive. The UCLA defense is getting the better of UW tonight. UW puts together agood drive on the feet of Locker. Drive stalls at the 20. Perking hots the field goal.


UCLA goes nowhere and UW takes over at their 30 with 2:32 to go. UW goes 3 and out on an ugly series. UCLA takes over on it's own 30 with a couple minutes left. The Bruins pick up a couple first down but end the half on an incomplete Hail Mary. Tied at 1o as we head to halftime.

Really an ugly half for both teams, neither are really executing tonight the way they can on offense. If you have watched UW/UCLA games in the past the second half is always a completely different game. Whoever makes the best adjustments is going to won this game.

UCLA starts the second half with the ball on their 30. UCLA drives 71 yards with little trouble to go ahead.

17-10 UCLA

UW goes 3 and out, and we are in big trouble. terrible play calling and execution.

UCLA takes over at the UW 43 after a poor punt, this game is about to get out of hand of we can't get a stop on defense. UCLA is driving again and is stopped outside the Husky 30, bu they go on 4th and 2. Huskies stop them and dodge a major bullet. 3 and out again for UW...Locker looks like a deer in the headlights. 3 and out for UCLA.

UW starts at the 34. Locker throws a 56 yard interception for a TD. Not a very good throw, or play call. Terrible call by Lappano, just terrible.

24-10 UCLA

UW fumbles the kick off and gets pinned back at their own 14. UW actualy gets a first down on a pass. Homer makes a great play for a big gainer that is called back for an illegal block in the back by Reese. Crummy call in my opinion. UW fumbles on the next play but retains possesion. UW has to punt, the penalty takes points off the board.

UCLA takes over on their own 30 and the Huskies intercept the ball on the very first play! UW has the ball on the UCLA 20. Locker throws a strike to Russo in the endzone for 6!

24-17 UCLA

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekly Predictions

I am a day late this week with the predictions due to a busy schedule that has persisted throughout the week. I went 13-5 last week, and I am 29-10 for the year. I missed on Ohio State, Florida State, Stanford, New Mexico, and Utah.

Picking San Jose to beat Stanford was silly, but I thought Tomey had a lot more going. This loss by the way really minimizes ASU's opening win over the Spartans. Arizona losing to New Mexico? UCLA getting blown out by Utah? Colorado failing to right the ship against Florida State? I also picked the Huskies by two TD's over tOSU and that didn't work out either. A fellow blogger from tOSU kindly called this a homer site, but I really felt we would win. Eliminate the mistakes, and it would have happened.

Miami beat Texas A&M last night on ESPN. I didn't get the chance to watch it, but the Aggie's are in trouble losing to this outfit.

Pac Ten Games

A full slate of conference action is scheduled this weekend as the in league schedule starts in earnest.

Washington at UCLA

The Huskies break the Rose Bowl jinx as Jake Locker runs all over the Bruins. Louis Rankin has had career games against the Bruins. Ty Willingham owns Karl Dorrell.

Oregon State at Arizona State

The Beavers break a jinx of their own getting past the Sun Devils on the road for the first time since 1969. ASU hasn't impressed me much even though they are 3-0. OSU on the other hand hasn't impressed me much either. I think OSU, and the Beavers have more on the line here and will be prepared. Keep an eye on both QB's, the team who gets the best performance out of them will win the game.

Oregon at Stanford

The Ducks are going to rock and roll over the Cardinal. Bring a calculator because the Duck offense is going to score plenty of points. This will be an interesting game to judge Harbaugh's progress, but like earlier in the year against UCLA the Cards don't have the horses yet.

WSU at Southern California

WSU will score a couple of touchdowns to keep it interested, but the Trojans will have a field day with the Coug defense.

Arizona at California

The Mike Stoops farewell tour steps in Berkeley this week. This one isn't going to be pretty. The UA defense is hurting, and the UA offense hasn't shown up yet this season.

National Games

South Carolina at LSU

I love the Gamecocks and Spurrier, but LSU is in a different league. It isn't going to be close.

Penn State at Michigan

Joe Paterno will add another nail to Lloyd Carr's coffin in Ann Arbor.

Georgia at Alabama

I have to go with Saban and Bama in this one since it is at their home field.

Kentucky at Arkansas

Look for the resurgent Wildcats to overcome the Razorbacks on the road. Nice job Rich Brooks!

Michigan State at Notre Dame

This was the beginning of the end for the Spartans last year when they let the Irish off the hook. This year the only hook will be the one stuck in Fat Charlie's mouth. A 0-4 start for Notre Dame? Why not you have to like it! With Purdue, UCLA, BC, and USC up after MSU the Irish are likely to start 0-8, and won't that be delicious? The Irish finish up with Navy, Air Force, Duke, and Stanford so the prospect of 0-12 isn't likely.

Army at Boston College

The Eagles are for real and an ACC title contender after knocking off Georgia Tech last week. They will have no problem with the Cadets. I watch these guys because my wife went there, and I have to tell you, they are really good. They even have a Heisman contender on the roster.

UW / UCLA Matchups

Old rivals Washington, and UCLA square off in the Rose Bowl on Saturday night as both teams try to bounce back from losses the previous week. On paper before the season you would have to favor the Bruins by quite a bit due to all the talent, experience, and depth on the roster. Coach Dorrell figured this was the year his team would challenge for a BCS berth, and conference championship. Injuries, attitude, and inconsistent play are hurting the Bruins right now.

Washington surprised in it's first two games defeating Boise State, and Syracuse in dominating style. The Huskies disappointingly fell to Ohio State last weekend at home after leading 7-3 at the half. Mistakes on offense, and special teams contributed to that loss, especially in the second half. UW looks to rebound and get some help to take all the load off Jake Locker.

This should be a close game unless one of the teams self destructs, and as we saw last week, they both have the potential to do that. I think we will see a different UCLA team this week. After the beating they took against Utah expect them to bounce back strong unless Dorrell has truly lost control of his team.

Quarterback - Washington - UCLA's Ben Olson is coming off a disastrous game against Utah and will likely miss this one because of a concussion. Pat Cowan will likely start for the Bruins and has been out most of the Fall with a hamstring injury. Jake has the edge even if both of those guys were healthy, but he has some mistakes of his own to eliminate.

Running Back - UCLA - Markey and Bell are a good tandem, but neither is NFL quality. Markey catches the ball well out of the backfield while Bell is the better rusher. UW's running game has been stalled the last six quarters, and could have problems this week against a UCLA team that is tough on the run. Louis Rankin has had some of the best games of his career against UCLA. Markey is dangerous over the middle as a receiver sneaking out of the backfield and will challenge the Husky linebackers.

Wide Receiver - UCLA - The Bruins top wideout will miss this game, but Cowan, and Breazell are very solid receivers. Washington has been very inconsistent the lat two weeks by dropping plenty of balls which have resulted in stalled drives. Lappano plans on getting some different players such as Ellis, and Goodwin in the mix this week.

Tight End - UCLA - Washington's Tight Ends have been absent all season from the offense and that should continue on Saturday as UW spreads out the field against the Bruins.

Offensive Line - Even - On paper you have to give this one to UCLA, but after all the sacks, penalties, turnovers, and the loss of Sevaga to injury you have to call it even and let them both slug it out. UW has done a decent job protecting Locker, but they haven't given Rankin enough room to run lately.

Defensive Line - Washington - The Huskies didn't have one of their better games last week on the line since they didn't pick up a sack against an immobile QB. Ohio State's mammoth offensive line may have had a lot to do with that. UCLA will be missing it's top lineman for this one so while this is close to call I would say the advantage is tipped in UW's favor.

Linebacker - Washington - EJ Savannah is going to be an all league player, you have to like the way he is playing. Dan Howell is back this week after sitting out against tOSU. Once again this is a close one to call, but give the Huskies the edge since they are back at full strength. The unit was criticized last week however by a former player, and influential insiders by not being prepared properly in their read package against Ohio State.

Defensive Back - UCLA - The Bruins have a lot more talent and depth back there than we have at this point. Vonzell McDowell was torched last week by Ohio State, and look for the Bruins to continue to extend the trend. Byron Davenport is back again this week for the Huskies and if he can stay healthy he will make a difference. UW's safeties have been adequate so far, but they lack a big hammer in the middle. Look for Nate Williams to develop into that hammer.

Special Teams - UCLA - I have to go with the Bruins because until Washington eliminates such mistakes as having kicks blocked and fumbling kickoff returns they will continue to give away points to the opposition each week.

Coaching - Washington - Willingham, and Lappano own Karl Dorrell, nuff said. Ty would be 2-0 against UCLA if White, and Hemphill hadn't have taken a play off against them two years ago.


After all that I am predicting a 27-24 victory for the Huskies against a team with superior depth, experience, and talent. UCLA is still in disarray, and poorly coached. UW has played some of the best games of Ty's tenure against the Bruins home, and away. Washington traditionally plays the LA schools tough, and forget about the Rose Bowl jinx, Willingham knows how to prepare a team for the road. Jake Locker will be the best player on the field, and UCLA will not be up to par at the QB position after the shellacking of last week. Cowan may be more mobile than Olson, but his hamstring will limit that mobility. UCLA will be in big trouble if he comes up lame. UCLA will be missing 2/3 of it's entire starting lineup for this one, and it will be a true test for their depth to rise to the occasion.

A New Husky Stadium by 2010?

Athletic Director Todd Turner, and his stadium committee led by former governor Dan Evans met with the media yesterday after presenting the plans to renovate Husky Stadium to the UW Board of Regents.

UW officials said they hope to begin construction of some of the project by Dec. 2008 to beat the beginning of the SoundTransit project in 2009. They said they'd hope for completion by 2010 but more likely 2011 or 2012.
They left open the possibility of playing elsewhere for a season or two at Qwest Field, but said they'd like to avoid that if possible.
A renovation would completely gut the decrepit lower bowl, increase the number of concession stands by 50 percent, increase the number of women's restrooms by 50 percent and the number of men's restrooms by 30 percent. It would also add seven elevators bringing the total from two to nine, widen the seats and rows and improve the views of Lake Washington.
The Husky Stadium project would completed be in two parts:
1. Renovation and program improvements.
This includes the gutting and rebuilding of the lower bowl (and making it up to code) and square it off, the removal of the track, the lowering of the field (of about eight feet -- it would be flush with the current softball field), the creation of seven to 10 rows of seating. The removal of the track and the squaring off of the west end brings fans 86 feet closer to the field. "The lower seats now will be high enough that they'll be the best seats in the house," Turner said. "We know it's a tough place for people to come in and play, and we're going to make it a whole lot tougher."
2. New facility construction.
A pedestrian pavilion would replace the current drive way and concourse on the west end of the stadium and, the room created by the squaring off of the west end would provide space for football offices. It would include coaches offices, weightrooms, lockerrooms and could possibly house the football ticket office. Twenty suites could also be put in that area.
No stone will go unturned during the fundraising process. Look for the State of Washington to get involved, look for booster donations, tax credits, naming rights, ticket surcharges etc.. to get it all done. The project is going to cost in the range of 300 million once it is completed making it the most expensive project in the history of the athletic department.
The lower bowl of the stadium built in 1920 has aged to the point where it has to be repaired, or replaced. The cost for maintaining it, and the rest stadium will exceed 100 million over the next ten years. That being said it makes sense to do a total remodel rather than just maintain the current facility.
Willingham Reaction
Tyrone Willingham was asked first about the relevance of a new stadium to recruiting and said: "It is a great deal. Because anytime you can do anything to make it better for the fans, you in turn make it better for the players. Because if you can create a better environment for your fans to be in, your players will be the recipients of that. They feel the emotion, they feel the love, they feel the joy, they feel the enthusiasm of that crowd, so it's a real plus. It's a win for us.